If you're an avid homecook, chances are you're already well-across the unforeseen dangers of poorly managed food prep and handling. Typically associated with dodgy chicken, Campylobacter is the unseen menace lurking in your kitchen.
This invisible bug spreads easily from raw meat onto your kitchen benches, chopping boards and cleaning cloths, and can multiply to dangerous levels unless you stop it from growing.
Luckily, there are three very simple ways to avoid this dreaded bug and proactively stop your family from becoming ill. Follow these handy tips and tricks the next time you create your favourite Dish recipe:
Keep your workspace clean and tidy – a superficial clean is not enough.
Before you prepare food and after handling raw meat, wash your hands thoroughly, give your chopping boards a good scrub and clean all dishes and utensils (like knives) in hot soapy water. Dry everything thoroughly before you begin prepping your ingredients.
Top tip: It's best to air dry utensils – try avoid using a tea towel.
Learn how to recognise when meat is safe and ready
Be sure to cook meat thoroughly, until the juices run clear – especially when cooking with chicken and mince. If you're re-heating, make sure food is steaming hot.
Top tip: Warm does not kill Campylobacter, but hot does. To err on the side of caution, heat it through.
So, you overcatered? Store and refridgerate your leftovers properly.
After lunch or dinner, make sure you cover all used food. Store in airtight tupperware or cover securely with cling wrap. Food should be stored in the fridge, with raw food and cooked food kept separate.
Top tip: Don’t leave food out for longer than two hours. If in doubt – throw it out.
For more information on how to prepare food safely, visit mpi.govt.nz/cleancookchill.